Irish border: May set for crucial Brexit deal meeting

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The PM and Brexit Secretary David Davis will meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU negotiator Michel Barnier, Downing Street said.

Pound Sterling is seen racing higher amidst reports that the U.K., Ireland and the European Union are working through the night to try and reach a breakthrough on Brexit negotiations with an announcement possible on Friday morning.

British Prime Minister Theresa May failed to agree a deal to open talks on a Brexit trade deal with the European Union on December 4 as the Democratic Unionist Party objected to proposals to keep EU rules in Northern Ireland.

"We are making progress but not fully there yet".

The long-awaited announcement also followed talks which continued into the early hours between the Prime Minister and Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster.

"Discussions about taking forward the Brexit process are ongoing", a British government spokesman said, adding that May had also telephoned with Varadkar. "Companies all across the United Kingdom want absolute clarity on the long-term deal being sought, and want government to work closely with business experts to ensure that the details are right".

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"I just don't see either side saying it's all fallen apart & back to the drawing board", says Neil Jones at Mizuho Bank in London, "the bottom line is Brexit breakthrough is to send the Pound higher".

EU President Donald Tusk had triggered fevered speculation on Thursday about a deal when he announced that he would make a press statement on the Brexit talks at 0650 GMT on Friday.

With the clock ticking down to the March 2019 exit date, the report says the biggest risk factor that there may be no trade deal is the shortage of time.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) insists that Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, must leave the European Union in the same way as the rest of the United Kingdom. British factions have squabbled about how to preserve the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which depends on a borderless passage between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as Britain seeks new trade independence that would typically require a border.

Before his elevation last month, Williamson was Theresa May's chief whip, tasked with keeping unruly members of her Conservative Party under control.